Mohammad Kibria

Mohammad Kibria (b.1929, Birbhum, West Bengal, India - d.2011) received his initial training from the Government School of Art in Calcutta (British India). The years he spent in Japan pursuing painting and printmaking, was a defining period in his life. Kibria is undoubtedly one of the pioneers of abstraction in this region. His non-representational prints and paintings have been, for many, the measure of Modernism. Breaking away from the historically and culturally entrenched art practices of the 1950s, and at a time when Zainul Abedin and Quamrul Hassan, along with others, were struggling to find a Bengali identity that was interspersed with modern-day expressivity, Kibria chose to draw a new line on the horizon that showed only faint signs of location and lived experience. His departure from identity politics and its representation, ushered in the notion of 'universal identity'.

Notable among his awards are the President's Medal for Pride of Performance (1969), the Starlem Award, First Young Asian Artists Exhibition, Tokyo (1959), All Japan Print Exhibition Award (1960), the Ekushey Padak (1983), the Bangladesh Charushilpi Sangsad Honour (1985), Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Award (1998), the Independence Day Award (1999) and Japanese Foreign Minister's Honour Award (2002). Kibria was a member of the international jury in the 12th Kuwait Biennale. After 45 years of teaching Kibria was made Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka, in 2008.